The first annual Middleburg Research Ride will be held in Middleburg, Virginia on April 1, 2001. This 50-mile Endurance competition (the first research of this kind in the exercising horse) is being held by Virginia Tech at its Middleburg Agriculture Research and Extension Center (MAREC) . MAREC is dedicated to equine research, particularly as it relates to pasture based nutrition and land conservation.

Dr. David Kronfeld, who holds the Paul Mellon Chair, directs research at MAREC. Dr. Rhonda Hoffman is the Principal Investigator of the Ride, which focuses on oxidative stress in the exercising horse and improving equine welfare.

Jeannie Waldron, DVM, the Ride manager, has extensive National and International experience in the sport of Endurance. Lynne Gilbert, an experienced Endurance rider, is the event Secretary.

Sponsors for the event include the Bernice Barbour Foundation, Inc, The WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition and the Virginia Horse Industry Board.

There will be 50 horse and rider teams competing in this 50-mile race. Due to the complex nature of the event, riders have been selected and have agreed to follow guidelines established by the investigators.

For more information on the event, contact Christy Kawabata 540/729-6513, Dr. Jeannie Waldron 540/364-2632.

For more information on MAREC, see an article published in the December 2000 issue of The Horse.